Cost of living and prices in South Korea, prices of food, rent, shopping, etc 🇰🇷 Updated Jul 2023

South Korea, situated in Eastern Asia, is a beautiful and bustling country with a population of over 48 million people. Covering an area of 98,480 square kilometres, it boasts a high population density of 491.7 people per square kilometre.

The official language of South Korea is Korean and its currency is the South Korean won. With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $1,198 billion, GDP per capita is approximately $24,740. Despite being a small country, South Korea is a major player in the global economy. If you're looking to relocate to South Korea, its cost of living is generally lower than that of other major Asian cities. It's worth noting that the cost of living varies depending on where you are in the country, so it's advisable to do some research before you make the move.

The country is known for its excellent public health system as well as its technology, music, and cuisine. As a visitor to South Korea, you'll find a vast array of things to see and do, from hiking through national parks to exploring Seoul's vibrant nightlife. Bordering countries to South Korea include Japan, China, and North Korea, each providing exciting cultural experiences.

Cost of Living Estimate in South Korea

Total cost of living in South Korea for two person with average consumption for one month will be 1158.24 USD, no rent price included. Click here to calculate cost-of-living estimate in South Korea

You can calculate cost of living in South Korea by changing quantity using input near each good or service. Resulting total will appear in a floating box in the bottom of your screen.

Restaurants prices

South Korea is known for its unique cuisine that combines spicy and savory flavors. Korean BBQ is a must-try for anyone traveling to South Korea. At these restaurants, diners cook thin slices of marinated meat on their own grill at the table. If you're looking for a more traditional dining experience, visit a sutbul (charcoal) restaurant, where the meat is cooked over real charcoal for a smoky taste. For a quick and affordable meal, head to a street food market where you can try a variety of Korean dishes like tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and hotteok (sweet pancakes).

Vegan and vegetarian options are becoming more popular in South Korea. Buddhist temples offer temple cuisine, which is a vegetarian, plant-based meal. There are also vegan and vegetarian restaurants throughout the country where you can try dishes like bibimbap (mixed rice bowl) made with veggies and tofu instead of meat. For a unique and immersive dining experience, try a jjimjilbang (Korean sauna and spa) where you can relax in hot tubs and saunas before enjoying a healthy Korean meal. No matter what you're in the mood for, South Korea offers a wide range of dining options that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Meal in Inexpensive Restaurant
6.06 $
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course
34.70 $
McMeal at McDonalds or Alternative Combo Meal
5.21 $
Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter Draught
2.60 $
Imported Beer, 0.33 liter Bottle
4.34 $
3.80 $
Coca-Cola, 0.33 liter Bottle
1.37 $

Markets prices

Market prices in South Korea are generally considered to be on the higher end when compared to its neighboring countries. This is partly due to the country's high living standards, developed economy, and the popularity of Korean brands among consumers worldwide. While certain products may be priced competitively, there are also a significant number of luxury goods and services that cater to a more affluent customer base, resulting in elevated price points.

Interestingly, the cost of living in South Korea varies greatly depending on the location. The capital city of Seoul is notorious for having one of the highest costs of living in the world, with pricey real estate, dining, and entertainment options. However, smaller towns and cities outside of Seoul offer more affordable alternatives for those looking to live in Korea on a budget. Additionally, savvy shoppers can find great deals at local markets and street vendors, making it possible to live comfortably in Korea without breaking the bank.

Water, 0.33 liter Bottle
0.68 $
Milk, Regular,1 liter
2.07 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread, 0.5 kg
2.32 $
White Rice, 1 kg
3.59 $
Eggs, 12 pack
2.87 $
Local Cheese, 1 kg
14.36 $
Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless, 1 kg
7.98 $
Beef Round or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat, 1 kg
21.14 $
Apples, 1 kg
5.72 $
Banana, 1 kg
3.59 $
Oranges, 1 kg
5.24 $
Tomato, 1 kg
4.83 $
Potato, 1 kg
3.02 $
Onion, 1 kg
2.48 $
Lettuce, 1 head
2.06 $
Water, 1.5 liter Bottle
1.04 $
Bottle of Wine, Mid-Range Price
16.39 $
Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter Bottle
1.78 $
Imported Beer, 0.33 liter Bottle
3.02 $
Pack of Cigarettes
3.90 $

Transportation prices

South Korea offers a well-developed transportation system that guarantees a seamless travel experience for tourists. The most common means of transportation include buses, trains, and taxis. You can use these services to explore popular destinations such as Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island. Public transportation in South Korea is affordable and efficient, making it the most popular choice for locals and visitors alike. The buses and trains are clean and punctual, which makes getting around easy and convenient. In addition, there are several options to buy tickets such as vending machines, online bookings, and ticket offices located at bus and train stations.

One interesting transportation option in South Korea is the KTX high-speed rail service. This train system is the bullet train of South Korea, operating at a top speed of 300 km/h. The KTX connects major cities such as Seoul, Busan, and Gwangju, offering passengers a quick and comfortable journey. You can choose from two classes, standard class and first-class, both of which offer comfortable seating and services such as onboard catering. The KTX is a popular mode of transportation for tourists who want to explore long-distance locations in a short amount of time. With the KTX, you can travel across the country and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.

One-way Ticket, Local Transport
1.09 $
Monthly Pass, Regular Price
47.70 $
Taxi Start, Normal Tariff
2.60 $
Taxi, price for 1 km, Normal Tariff
0.86 $
Taxi, price for 1 hour Waiting, Normal Tariff
9.05 $
Gasoline, 1 liter
1.31 $
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)
26,799.41 $
Honda Civic 1.6 Or Alternative New Car
23,364.31 $

Utilities Per Month prices

When it comes to utilities cost in South Korea, it is important to note that the country is known for having one of the fastest internet speeds in the world. As a result, internet bills can be quite high compared to other countries. However, South Korea also prioritizes energy conservation and renewable energy sources. For example, many homes and buildings use solar panels and geothermal pumps for heating and cooling, which can help offset the cost of electricity bills.

Another interesting aspect of utilities cost in South Korea is the emphasis on reducing water usage. Many households and businesses use water-saving devices, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, to conserve water. Additionally, South Korea has implemented a tiered pricing system for water usage, so the more water you use, the higher your bill will be. This encourages people to be mindful of their water usage and helps to promote sustainability. Overall, while some utilities may be more expensive in South Korea, the country's focus on energy and water conservation can help to make bills more manageable.

Basic utilities for 85m2 Apartment including Electricity, Heating or Cooling, Water and Garbage
138.72 $
Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local, price per 1 min, No Discounts or Plans
0.14 $
Internet, 60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL
21.71 $

Sports And Leisure prices

Sports and leisure in South Korea is woven into the country's culture and lifestyle. From Taekwondo to K-pop dance classes, South Koreans are passionate about staying active and healthy. In major cities like Seoul and Busan, there are numerous opportunities for visitors to participate in traditional and modern sports activities. Ski resorts are also a popular draw in winter months, with several world-class ski slopes available.

If you're looking for a more leisurely way to enjoy South Korea's natural beauty, there are plenty of opportunities to explore parks, beaches, and mountains. Visitors can indulge in local hot springs, visit traditional Korean villages or take a hike along the scenic Jeju Olle Trail. Baseball fanatics can catch a game of the country's beloved national sport during the season, and music lovers can attend concerts featuring famous K-pop bands. With so much to do and experience, South Korea has something to offer every type of traveler.

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult
54.31 $
Tennis Court Rent, 1 Hour on Weekend
11.48 $

Salaries And Financing prices

One interesting aspect of salaries in South Korea is the prevalence of bonuses and other incentives. Many companies offer performance-based bonuses to their employees, which can increase their overall income significantly. In some industries, such as finance, employees may receive large signing bonuses as well. Additionally, some companies offer perks such as reimbursement for transportation expenses or subsidized meals, which can help offset the cost of living in Korea's urban areas.

Financing in South Korea can be challenging for foreigners, as many banks require proof of residence and may not accept foreign credit cards or bank accounts. However, there are still plenty of options for travelers to manage their money while in the country. Many ATMs accept international cards and offer English language options, and there are also several online banking apps available that cater specifically to non-Korean speakers. It's also worth noting that credit card usage is common in South Korea, so travelers may find that they can use their cards at a variety of shops and restaurants.

Cinema ticket, 1 Seat
8.67 $
Average Monthly Net Salary, After Tax
2,187.49 $

Childcare prices

Childcare prices in South Korea can be quite high, especially when it comes to schools and kindergartens. Many parents in the country are willing to pay a premium for quality childcare that can help their children get ahead academically. This has led to a competitive market for childcare services, with many providers offering a range of programs and activities to attract parents.

Some schools and kindergartens in South Korea are known for their rigorous academic programs, which can make them particularly expensive. Many of these institutions place a heavy emphasis on academic achievement, and may offer additional resources such as tutoring and test prep to help students succeed. This can make them an attractive option for parents who are looking to give their children the best possible start in life, but can also make them financially out of reach for some families.

Private Preschool or Kindergarten, Monthly for 1 Child
477.01 $
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child
20,660.89 $

Clothing And Shoes prices

Clothing and shoe prices in South Korea vary widely depending on the brand, quality, and location of the store. Generally, high-end fashion brands tend to have higher prices, while more affordable clothing can be found at popular fast fashion stores. The quality of products is usually high, with attention to detail and fashionable designs. South Korea is home to a diverse range of retail stores, from small local shops to large department stores and shopping malls. Whether you're looking for trendy streetwear or classic formal wear, there is no shortage of places to shop for clothing and shoes in South Korea.

One popular shopping destination in South Korea is Myeong-dong, located in the heart of Seoul. This bustling area is known for its abundance of shopping options, including department stores, street vendors, and high-end boutiques. It's a great place to find trendy clothing and shoes at reasonable prices, as well as to experience the lively atmosphere of South Korean street fashion. For those looking for more upscale shopping experiences, Gangnam is the place to go. This area is home to luxury brands and designer stores, catering to those seeking premium fashion products. Whether you're on a budget or looking to splurge, there are plenty of places in South Korea to find your perfect clothing and shoe options.

Pair of Jeans in a Chain Store Like George, H&M, Zara, etc.
68.88 $
Summer Dress in a Chain Store Like George, H&M, Zara, etc.
37.87 $
Pair of Running Shoes, Mid-Range Price
86.30 $
Pair of Leather Business Shoes
116.46 $

Rent Per Month prices

If you're planning a trip to South Korea and looking for short-term rental options, there is a wide range of accommodations available depending on your budget. From hostels and guesthouses to high-end hotels and serviced apartments, you're sure to find something that suits your needs. Thankfully, short-term rental prices in South Korea are generally reasonable, which makes this a popular option for budget-conscious travelers.

Staying in a guesthouse or hostel is a great way to experience South Korea's unique culture and meet new people. These options are often the most affordable, and they're a great way to save money while still enjoying comfortable accommodations. If you're looking for more space and privacy, you might want to consider a serviced apartment or vacation rental. These options are ideal for travelers who plan to stay for a few weeks or longer, and they offer all the comforts of home with the added convenience of hotel services.

One bedroom apartment in city centre
566.74 $
One bedroom apartment outside of city centre
360.75 $
Three bedroom apartment in city centre
1,328.02 $
Three bedroom apartment outside of city centre
852.92 $

Buy Apartment prices

Buying real estate in South Korea presents a range of options for both local and foreign investors. The popular choices include apartment units, commercial spaces, and traditional houses. Apartments are the most commonly purchased property type and buyers can choose from a range of sizes, designs, and locations. On the other hand, commercial spaces offer great investment opportunities, though they tend to be priced higher than apartments. Traditional Korean houses or hanok are also available, but they are mostly located in historic areas and may come with higher prices. Ultimately, the type of property a buyer chooses will depend on their lifestyle preferences and investment goals.

Property prices in South Korea vary widely depending on the location, size, and type of property. Seoul, the capital city, offers the highest prices due to the high demand and limited availability of land. Other major cities such as Busan and Daegu also have high property prices, but they are slightly lower than Seoul. Urban areas outside the major cities are more affordable but may have limited property options. Rural areas offer the lowest property prices, but the market is limited and may require extra effort in finding suitable properties. Buyers may need to consider their budget, investment goals, and lifestyle preferences when deciding on a property purchase in South Korea.

Price per m2 to Buy Apartment in City Center
7,658.45 $
Price per m2 to Buy Apartment Outside of City Center
4,758.04 $